In Key Stage 1 & 2, children are mainly taught in mixed ability groupings with some opportunity for children to work in groups of similar academic ability. The core subjects of English, Maths (daily lessons) and Science (weekly lessons) are taught using a thematic approach; making links to the foundation subjects where possible. As a Catholic school, RE is valued as a core subject. The planning and teaching of English and Maths is supported by a number of resources that Holy Cross have selected to best meet the needs of our children.
The English writing curriculum is normally based around a high quality text with opportunities for children to analyse the features, sentence structures and vocabulary used in the particular text type. Then after modelled and scaffolded tasks the children will compose their own writing, drawing inspiration from the original text. Children are encouraged to consider the audience and purpose of their writing. Children will then have the opportunity to edit and improve their work either working with a critical friend, group or individually. In Reading, a variety of teaching techniques is used; ranging from 1:1 adult supported reading to whole class guided reading. Again, high quality texts or extracts from text are used to facilitate language acquisition and development of sentence structure. Teachers monitor progress against the National Curriculum Age Related Expectations (ARE) and additional support is put in place where needed. A range of resources have been selected to support the planning and teaching of reading at Holy Cross.
The Maths curriculum has been evaluated over the past year and the Math Mastery approach is now being used. Maths Mastery means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. At any one point in a child’s journey through school, achieving mastery is taken to mean acquiring a solid enough understanding of the Maths that’s been taught to enable the child to move on to more advanced material. Children are encouraged to take risks with their Maths and apply what they have already learnt to varying contexts.
Problem solving, pattern identification and reasoning about what the child knows to be true or not is a significant part of the mastery approach. Through the effective implementation of this approach children who show a natural aptitude for Maths are challenged to further deepen their understanding.